Deals

Signpost helps smaller businesses get more out of online marketing

Image Credit: The Smithsonian

Signpost closed $10 million in funding to help small businesses automate marketing like the big boys.

Small and medium businesses don’t have the huge marketing budgets of large corporations. Signpost says it software can close that gap by taking care of all their marketing needs for just $150 a month.

“There are three legs of marketing automation: presence, customer information, and remarketing. Most small businesses fail at all three steps,” CEO Stuart Wall told VentureBeat’s John Koetsier in an interview last month. “Millions of small businesses see that more and more of their revenue is influenced by Facebook and Yelp, but they don’t have the ability to manage their presence there … or capture customer information on those sites.”

Signpost’s strategy is to promote “conversion events,” like specials or discount offers across Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, Foursquare, and any other appropriate channel. It creates tailored campaigns with targeted offers and customized customer messaging. The goal is to attract new customers and maintain an ongoing relationship with existing customers and help businesses manage and nurture those relationships over time.

The startup currently works with more than 10,000 businesses around the country to help them get the maximum impact out of their online presence. The goal is to give anyone from a mom-and-pop shop to a restaurant franchise marketing tools that are more sophisticated while also being easy to use.

Marketing automation has been one of the hottest trends of the past couple years. Focus Research found that it is the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment, and the sector has yielded a number of high-profile IPOs and acquisitions (such as Marketo or Eloqua).

Consumers are using the web and mobile to research purchasing decisions more than ever before. Eighty percent of mobile users prefer locally relevant advertising, and 75 percent are more likely to take an action after seeing a location-specific message.

It is critical that businesses have a strong digital marketing strategy, and yet many struggle to use the Internet to their best advantage.

This is where Signpost steps in. OpenView Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Scout Ventures, and investor Jack Herrick participated in this round, which brings its total capital raised to $15 million. Google Ventures invested in the company’s first round. It is based in New York City.


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